Israeli Defense Forces: 17 Miraculous Israeli Military Victories
The Battle of Mishmar HaEmek
On April 4, 1948, the odds were not in Israel’s favor. Outnumbered ten to three and with artillery shells raining down on them, a few hundred Jewish residents and soldiers managed to hold off about one thousand troops of the Arab Liberation Army. The Arabs had attacked the kibbutz, Mishmar Haemek, with the intent of taking it for the strategic location in between Jenin and Haifa. All hope seemed lost, yet surrender was not acceptable. Miraculously, the highly outnumbered Jewish forces managed to go on the offensive, successfully taking over the Arab villages surrounding the kibbutz. This attack led to the Arab Liberation Army’s retreat and was the last significant stand of the Arab Liberation Front in the Israeli War of Independence.
The Battle for Katamon
During the Independence War, Israeli forces reentered Katamon which was a key strategic position in Jerusalem that Israel had failed to retake from the Arab forces controlling it, just two days earlier. This time, the Israeli troops quickly captured the monastery that was being used as the Arab forces' base of operations and that was the end of the fighting, or so they thought... After a few quiet hours, a fierce counter-attack began. Although they managed to hold off the Arabs, the Palmach began to run low on supplies. Additionally, they suffered countless injuries including Platoon Commander Raful Eitan who was shot in the head. They needed to retreat, but no soldier could be left behind for torture and mutilation. It was decided that those wounded who could not make it out would be put in a room rigged with explosives. Two soldiers would stay behind and detonate the explosives when the Iraqi forces reached the monastery. In the meantime, the enemy forces had also suffered many casualties and were out of Ammo. Their surrender was near, but the Israeli Forces in the monastery had no way of knowing this. The Israeli soldiers were on their way out the door, when suddenly the words “don't retreat” echoed from a radio that was thought to be broken. The Arabs retreated. The Israelis stayed and reinforcements arrived to treat the wounded. Raful, the platoon commander, survived what should have been a fatal bullet wound to the head and was back in action, half an hour later! This, along with the battle being won, was nothing short of miraculous.
The Battle of Safed
In 1948, as their sovereignty over Palestine was coming to an end, the British were handing over the strategic high points of the city to the heavily armed Arab troops. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Israeli forces struggled battling over Safed for months. In late April, an artillery piece nicknamed “The Davidka” was delivered to the Jews. Surprisingly ineffective, the most notable feature of the Davidka was the tremendous noise it produced. A rumor quickly spread through the Arab ranks that the Jews had acquired an atom bomb, and the entire Arab community left that night. With their exit, morale deteriorated among the Arab troops, and the Haganah was able to secure the city.
Taking Back Mount Zion
During the Independence War, Ira Rappaport’s Israeli platoon fought the Jordanian military for Mount Zion and found themselves surrounded by hundreds with only twenty five bullets left. With a sad end seemingly near, the men agreed to go out with a bang and readied themselves to make good use of every last bullet. Then, just when the small platoon were about to face the inevitable, something incredible happened. The Jordanian soldiers dropped their weapons and began suddenly running away, screaming “ABRAHAM!”. Several years later, Ira would come across a familiar face with an unlikely answer, as to what had actually occurred on that miraculous day. This was a former Jordanian soldier who had fought against Ira on Mount Zion. According to him, his army all witnessed a vision of Abraham defending the Jews in the sky above the Israeli platoon and had no choice, but to drop their weapons.
Saving the Kibbutz
During the War of Independence, twenty-four homemade Israeli armored trucks and cars took a wrong turn on the way to aid a besieged Kibbutz, and crossed and accidentally entered Lebanon. They realized their mistake, when they ran into twenty brand new Syrian armored cars traveling with dozens of Syrian supplies trucks carrying ammunition and artillery. The Israelis immediately fired at the first Syrian truck and amazingly hit a tank loaded with gasoline, causing an explosion, which set fire to the following truck full of hand grenades. One by one, each truck in the Syrian convoy exploded. The loud booms could be heard for miles and the scared surviving Syrians abandoned their cargo. The Israelis had just enough people to drive the captured armored vehicles and Syrian weapons back. By the time they finally reached the Kibbutz, the Arab besiegers had already left. Apparently, after they heard rumors that the Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, they fled back to Syria. And that’s how one wrong turn saved an entire kibbutz. The skeptical may write it off as accidental, but when it comes to Israel there are no accidents.
The Attack on Degania
Shortly after the Independence War, nearly all of the Syrian forces stationed at Tel al-Qasr used two hundred armored Syrian vehicles including forty-five tanks to attack Israel’s oldest kibbutzim; Degania Alef (“A”) and Degania Bet (“B”). With no artillery, about seventy Israelis (most of them were kibbutz members which means they were not regular fighters) had virtually no chance of blocking a Syrian advance, but they wouldn’t go down without a fight. When the tanks approached Degania Aleph, the minimal Israeli forces began to throw molotov cocktails and behold, an Israeli soldier made a direct hit on the first approaching Syrian tank. Suddenly, the entire Syrian column was turning around and fleeing, possibly believing that Israel had a large multitude of anti-tank weapons. When the Syrians hit Degania Bet, the Israelis were incredibly low on weapons, but quickly assembled two ancient French cannons and used them well against the Syrians’ 75 mm cannons, and 60 and 81 mm mortars. The use of Israel’s little artillery must have really taken the Syrians by great surprise. Why else would they retreat when they had Israel outgunned and outnumbered? Sometimes, the best explanation is the simplest one. Miracles really do happen.
The Preemptive Strike
In 1967, Egypt began moving large forces and heavy artillery to the Sinai desert. Next, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships and anyone bringing any military equipment to Israel. This was an act of war. When Egypt, Syria and Jordan formed a pact and placed their militaries on high alert for war, it became clear that conflict was inevitable. Israel had horrible odds. However, the Rebbe confidently declared, “G-d is guarding them (the people of Israel)” and “The people of Israel will emerge from the current situation with remarkable success.” And sure enough their success was more than remarkable, it was miraculous. Two hundred Israeli Air Force planes were heading towards Egyptian air bases and should have been shot down. Though flying very low to avoid being detected by Arab radar sites, a Jordanian radar facility was able to detect the unusual amount of aircrafts approaching the sea. Jordan quickly sent out the message, “Inab” (a code for war) to Egypt. Miraculously, however, the Egyptian coding frequencies were changed the very day before and Jordan was not yet updated. Still, the miracle of surprise was not enough. Egypt’s anti-aircraft ammunition was sufficient enough to destroy all the Israeli planes attacking. Miraculously, the order was not given to launch any of those missiles on the Israeli crafts. Israel accomplished her mission and took down half the Egyptian air force: two hundred and four Egyptian planes, the majority of which were in the Sinai Desert readying to attack Israel. With this battle, the Six Day War began.
The Battle of Ammunition Hill
This battle for an extremely fortified Jordanian military post in East Jerusalem was arguably the most furious battle of the Six Day War ‘67. Instead of an air strike that would ensure an israeli victory, they opted for a ground attack, using paratroopers, to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. However, the Israeli forces had incorrect intelligence suggesting the hill was being defended by a single Jordanian platoon, not accounting for the numerous underground bunkers throughout Ammunition Hill that made this battle so incredibly difficult. They sent a third of the amount they should have. This is the kind of serious mistake that should cost the military a battle and possibly the war, but not Israel. Despite their misinformation, Israel miraculously won this battle in the incredible time of just four hours! Ammunition Hill is currently a national memorial site.
To win the Six Day War, Israel needed to retake the Egyptians’ heavily fortified Kusseima outpost. The Egyptians were in control of powerful forces capable of a great counterattack, while the Israelis were weary from a full day of battle. As the Israeli Defence Forces drew near, they heard massive explosions. When they arrived they saw that the Egyptians had destroyed their equipment and abandoned the base, for no apparent reason! As the day continued, it became clear that the Egyptians were hastily abandoning many of their outposts and their supplies along with them. One mysterious report of the battle was from Egyptian soldiers who, when approaching the Israeli border, saw a gigantic hand come out from the sky. Immediately terrified, they turned around and ran the other way, unable to deny that they were witness to a supernatural event.
Taking Back Jerusalem
Starting June 5, days of violent battling ensued throughout the old city of East Jerusalem. On June 7th, an eerie silence befell the city when Jordanian firing stopped. It was too quiet and so Israeli troops were dispatched to check for a trap. However, their report was of no trap, but of a miracle. The city was empty, save for all the equipment that the Jordanian army left behind. The Israeli forces entered East Jerusalem, and took the Temple Mount, reaching the Western Wall without even firing a single shot. The people of Israel had returned to the land again and again, but they never retook all of Jerusalem... not until June 8th, 1967. On this day, Israel not only had the land, but had her holiest city of Jerusalem, for the first time in almost 2000 years. “The Lord says: I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem,” - Zechariah 8:3
The Golan Heights Attack
At the end of the Six-Day War, to retake the Golan Heights, Israel had to win an uphill battle against a heavily entrenched and well fortified Syrian army, consisting of seventy-five thousand troops. It was estimated that thirty thousand Israeli lives would be lost. Yet on June 9, after just seven hours of heavy fighting, Israel had miraculously gained control of the main sectors. The next morning, the Israeli forces still expected another day of fierce fighting. The Syrians, however, had other plans. Before the Israelis even got to them, they pulled out of the Golan, fleeing frantically and leaving weapons behind. The mountains, which were once strategically used to murder Jews had fallen into the hands of the Jews. Having completed the final offensive, they signed a ceasefire.
Taking Tel Fakhr
Due to great casualties, an Israeli platoon was left with only twenty-five men. Nonetheless, what was left of the platoon continued to charge Tel Fakhr, in the Golan Heights. Little did they know, Tel Fakhr was maybe the most heavily fortified position Syria had. It had trenches, bunkers, and heavy wiring, machine guns, anti-tank guns, and mortars. Those Israeli soldiers did not stand a chance. That was until a miracle occurred. For no reason that makes any sense, a Syrian captain instructed his men not to fire on the Israelis until they reached the wiring. Before the Syrians knew it, they were too late. “The Jews are already inside, and we’ve taken heavy casualties,” they reported to their captain. Those who remained of the Israeli platoon were victorious, and continued up the Heights.
The result of the miracles of this war was the recapturing of the Western Wall and much of the land Israel has today; an Israeli victory in just six days.
Yom Kippur War
In 1973, while the entire country of Israel fasted for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one hundred thousand Egyptians invaded Israel from the south and over 1,400 Syrian tanks invaded Israel from the north. Although one can say that every war is a miracle, Israel surviving, let alone winning this war, is arguably more miraculous than most of her other war victories. With a significant portion of the Israeli military either in their homes or synagogues, Israel was nearly defenseless. Not only was Israel caught completely off guard and outnumbered, now the vast majority of her soldiers were at their weakest. Initially Syria was gaining territory and logic dictates that Israel should have lost this war, but by the end of the the Yom Kippur War, Israel somehow managed to come out on top and her weakened troops managed to reach 20 kilometers into Syria!
The Valley of Tears
During the Yom Kippur War, a small impossibly outnumbered Israeli force held back a large portion of the Syrian army, for four days in the Golan Heights. The Syrians were armed with hundreds of tanks, but gave the Israeli forces a false sense of security revealing only a few of their tanks in battle formation for months before the massive attack they had planned. If this attack was successful they could have taken Israel. They had three infantry divisions and over a thousand tanks. At one point, it was said to be just three Israeli tanks against one hundred and fifty Syrian tanks. A sergeant, out of shells wanted to leave his position, but was ordered to stay put. With no ammo, he was up against impossible odds. It would take a miracle to save him; to save Israel, and that’s just what happened. The Syrians retreated, just when the Israeli force was on the verge of collapse! It has been theorized that the Syrians didn’t know the tanks were out of shells and seeing only a few tanks changing positions, they may have believed that Israel had more tanks than they actually did. However, a Syrian soldier swears an army of Angels surrounded those few tanks Israel had and considering the rate of miracles surrounding the small country of Israel, that could truly be what happened in what is now known as, the Valley of Tears.
The Gas Attack That Never Was
During the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq threatened to use chemical weapons on Israel, a country which was not actively participating in the conflict. As Iraq bombarded Israel with rockets, the country prepared for the likely possibility of a chemical attack. However, one never occurred. Why? Strangely enough, wind patterns changed from the normal directions to blow East from Israel going directly towards Iraq. The U.S. military theorized that the odd weather changes likely served as the major cause for Iraq’s decision not to employ chemical warfare, since the winds would have caused any gas attacks on Israel to harm Iraq as well.
In 1991, without any Israeli instigation, Iraq tried to provoke Israel into retaliating by firing 39 missiles into Israel. Despite this, Israel did not retaliate and miraculously managed to stay out of the Gulf War, much due to U.S. encouragement. Many Iraqi scud missiles were intercepted by Patriot missiles from the U.S, but not all of them. Still, throughout all of the numerous strikes on the West Bank, there was not a single death. Two missiles disappeared. To this day, nobody has taken credit for preventing their strikes and they have never been found. Another missile struck a garbage dump and for some reason did not explode. One missile landed just several feet away from a gas station, which could have caused devastation, but incredibly it also did not explode. Multiple missiles missed Iraq’s intended targets, instead landing in the Mediterranean Sea. One of which had gotten thrown off course by some inexplicable strong winds. There were other missiles that did hit and did actually explode. One of these exploded between two buildings and completely destroyed both of them, but somehow not a single soul was lost in this strike.
Not everyone realized the magnitude of this miracle until tragedy struck when over 40 were killed in a single missile strike on a U.S. marine bunker in Saudi Arabia. Even today, there are sadly parts of Israel that are being hit by terrorist rockets and while miracles do not occur for everyone, the rate of miracles for this country is undoubtedly exceptionally high.
During summer 2014, it was discovered that Hamas had been using supplies given by Israel for civil projects, to build tunnels that would enable them to transport weapons and invade Israel. In the weeks before July 17th, Hamas terrorists scouted out the area which one of their tunnels would potentially end, near the farming village of Sufa. It was perfect. At the time, this was a populated area of farmers concealed by tall wheat. Israel wouldn’t stand a chance. However, the terrorists didn’t count on the apparent power of faith. According to Jewish customs, there is a biblical mandate that requires farmers to harvest before taking a sabbatical year, in which it is forbidden to harvest in Israel. On July 17th, terrorists exited their completed tunnel only to find an empty open land. This attempted attack happen to occur just after the sabbatical year had begun and so, the religious farmers were no longer harvesting. Without the tall wheat for cover, the terrorists were quickly spotted and intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces. A potential massacre was avoided because of this miracle. And looking at the history of Israel, it seems there are always greater miracles to come.
Source: “Top 17 miraculous Israeli military victories,” Israel Video Network, (May 20, 2015).